North Carolina’s a state where Donald Trump did much better than his national performance in November. While he lost the vote nationally by 2 points, he took North Carolina by 4 points. But attitudes toward Trump as he prepares to take office match the national picture- he’s unpopular and voters think his presidency will be a downgrade from Barack Obama’s.
Only 44% of voters have a positive opinion of Trump, to 49% who see him negatively. Even among those who voted for Trump in November, 14% don’t have a favorable opinion of him. Obama meanwhile leaves office on a high note with 50% of voters approving of him to 47% who disapprove. When asked who they think will prove to be the better President, North Carolinians pick Obama over Trump 49/45.
Usually a newly elected President will see a bump in their popularity before taking office. But voters continue to have a variety of concerns about Trump and his agenda that are keeping that from happening for him:
-Very few voters think Trump has done enough to divest himself from his business interests as he prepares to take office. 59% want to see him fully divest himself from his business interests, to only 32% who don’t think it’s necessary for him to take that step.
-Voters continue to be concerned about Trump’s lack of transparency when it comes to releasing his tax returns. 60% think he needs to release his returns, compared to only 32% who don’t think it’s necessary for him to. In fact voters don’t think Trump should even be allowed to appear on the ballot again in 2020 if he stays on his current course- 54% of voters say they’d require a law requiring a candidate for President to release 5 years of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot, to just 33% who would oppose that change.
-Voters do not want the wall with Mexico if they have to pay for it up front. Just 38% of voters support the border wall if American taxpayers have to front the money for it, to 53% who are opposed to that.
-Only 40% of voters think repealing the Affordable Care Act should be Congress’ first course of action on health care- 55% think it would be better to keep what works in the ACA and fix what doesn’t.
-Trump’s made a mistake fighting with the intelligence agencies in recent weeks. By a 55/26 spread, voters say they think the intelligence agencies have more credibility than he does.
-While Trump’s been fighting with the intelligence agencies he’s been praising Russia and Vladimir Putin, but this is a rare issue where Trump’s stance isn’t winning over even his own voters. Russia has an 11/63 favorability rating in North Carolina, and it’s 17/54 even with Trump voters. Putin has a 9/70 favorability rating, and it’s 13/60 even with Trump voters. Trump’s friendliness toward those entities could cause him more problems further down the line.
-Perhaps as a result of all these various controversies surrounding Trump, 34% of voters in North Carolina already support impeaching him, to 53% opposed to it. We intend to track support for impeaching Trump on all our public polls for as long as these various issues of transparency related to his tax returns, business interests, ties to Russia, etc. are on the table.
One final finding that may drive a lot of Hillary Clinton fans crazy: 33% of Trump voters think that Trump should be allowed to have a private email server.
Full results here